Parents who are going through separation or divorce will need to devise a plan that specifies where their children will reside, who will care for them, how often they will spend time with each parent, and under what conditions they will be permitted to visit with each parent. This plan is often referred to as a "parenting plan". In some cases the parents can create a parenting plan that is agreed upon by both parties, while in other instances the parents need the help of the court to determine the best parenting plan for their circumstances.
When settling a divorce case the issue of which parent is going to claim the dependent child exemption on his/her tax return should be settled. Experience has demonstrated that failure to settle this at the time of the divorce will often lead to future disputes between the parties and between a parent and the revenue authorities.
Massachusetts has given recognition to the need for divorcing parents to appreciate "children's emotional needs and the effects of divorce on child behavior and development."
We live in a mobile society where it is common for a family to relocate from one state to another, across the country, or even to a different country. Moves become much more difficult and complex in a family that has experienced a divorce, or where the parents do not reside in the same household. When one parent seeks to remove the child from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to another area of the United States or even to another country, and where the other parent does not agree with the move, the Probate and Family Courts must get involved.